The Character of God
The Character of God
By Sally Lombardo“Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, ‘My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God?’ Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the Everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
Enhance today’s devotional by reading Isaiah 40:18-31
Why are we afraid that God doesn’t see and hear us? In this passage, Isaiah affirms the true nature of the Holy One of Israel by describing his character. He chastises Israel for complaining, ‘My way is hidden from my God; He doesn’t see me or know what I need. I never get what is due to me; people don’t understand who I am and how hard I try.’
Sadly, this sounds a little too familiar, and most of us can relate to these types of thoughts. There is comfort in knowing even ancient Israel fell prey to the age-old behavior patterns of self-pity and abject fear.
For a people who seem to be lost, Isaiah is actually answering the age-old question, “Who is God?” He defines God by encouraging followers to rely on his character for strength. Look at the words and see how the author does something wonderful: He names the Lord in almost a dozen ways. Let’s examine a few:
- The Lord is the One who creates the stars.
- He is the One who leads them forth, calling them by name.
- He is mighty, gracious, and strong.
- He does not miss even one of their names. He does not miss your name.
- He is the Everlasting God; he is the Lord.
- He is the Creator of the ends of the earth.
- He does not get tired, and his understanding is beyond ours.
- He increases our power and gives us strength.
- He holds us when we grow weary, and we do not faint.
When I am sad, afraid, or desperate, I try to remember descriptions of God to reinforce my trust and boost my awareness of his presence and power. I love the psalms, where God is described as a “shield, a rock, a fortress.” Proverbs 18:10 reads, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs to it and is safe.” Look for some character traits of God as listed in Isaiah and the Psalms; they can undergird you as you run and walk along the way.
Who is your “strong tower,” the name you run toward to find safety? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Follow the ancient way of the Psalms and find the life God has for you. A model for vibrant worship, the Psalms provide practical wisdom to traverse the circuitous path of life with trust and hope. Pilgrim’s Path: A Study of the Psalms traces our spiritual walk with God—from discovery and delight, through doubt and disappointment, into joyful confidence. Whether used for individual or group study, Pilgrim’s Path is for everyone who seeks to know and love God more and find life in him.
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